Salvador Perez is the latest prospect on his way to Kansas City, with the Royals calling up the 21-year-old catcher from Triple-A in time for tonight’s game and releasing historically awful starter Kyle Davies to make room on the roster.
Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Start reports that Perez “is expected to become the club’s regular catcher upon arrival.”
Whether or not he’s ready to thrive in the majors is another issue, because while Perez’s batting average in 91 games between Double-A and Triple-A is a nice-looking .291 he added just 10 homers and 16 walks for a mediocre .331 on-base percentage and .437 slugging percentage.
Those are solid numbers from a catcher, particularly given how young Perez was relative to the level of competition, but mediocre power and non-existent plate discipline leave him looking like anything but a top prospect and his track record is fairly unimpressive. He makes tons of contact and has hit for solid batting averages, so if Perez can develop some more pop or patience he has a chance to be very good, but for now he’s a question mark in the short and long term.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.